Former Agency President Will Create Research Company
BOSTON--Rick Sandler, president and partner for two years at Wallwork Curry Sandler, has resigned to start his own business.
A search for a director of account services is believed to be under way, but the president's post at the shop is not expected to be immediately filled.
"His whole background is research. He's been getting called to do project work on research alone, and the opportunity for him is to be a researcher," said agency co-chairman Bob Curry.
Sandler had been brought on board to help build business, replacing Maureen McNamara, who had resigned to join another agency.
In 1998, the last full year for which figures are available, the Boston-based shop reported revenues of $5.1 million on billings of $38 million, a 16 percent gain over 1997. In 1999, however, business softened, and it has only been in the past month that development efforts have begun to pick up. Recent wins include Liberty Funds Distributor and New York Life Benefit Service [Adweek, Feb. 21].
Sandler will start a research and strategic planning consultancy, his area of expertise, called The Insight Group. He is currently looking for office space.
"I'm very excited about this from a lifestyle standpoint," he said last week. "My aspiration in life was never to be the president of an agency. I'm just not cut out for account service work, and at a smaller agency you tend to wear many hats." Both the account service and media groups reported to Sandler, he said.
Prior to joining Wallwork Curry in 1998, Sandler, 53, held research and management posts at many of Boston's leading ad shops, including Houston Effler & Partners; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; and Pagano Schenck & Kay. Wallwork Curry was Sandler's sixth agency in eight years.
Instead of hiring staff, he intends to work as an independent contractor, pulling in expertise from a network of like-minded independents, he said. But he also hopes to slow down and have more free time. "I don't want anyone to think that I'm not serious about starting a company, but I also want greater flexibility in how and when and where I work." K